Dr. Bill Seymour, President

In 2015 we developed the Cleveland State 2020 Community First Plan.  This is the new strategic plan that will lead the college into the next 50 years.  True to its name this plan is unique in that 300 community individuals from across our service area came together to help us build this plan.  Developed by the community, for the community, we have a vision focused squarely on meeting the needs of learners and supporting our regional workforce.  Cleveland State is and shall always be a major component of unprecedented economic development in our area

To achieve this future we must aspire to be the best in all that we do.  This starts with our people.  While our primary focus is always on students we know we cannot deliver a good product unless we have the best faculty and staff and they are supported well in a great work environment.

Our goal is not to be the biggest community college but certainly the best.  To be the best we must start by creating an economy of scale that will power achievement of our intended goals.  Therefore, we intend to grow our enrollment from 3,500 students to over 4,000 students in the next five years.  This growth will come from two major areas: improvement in retention rates and expansion of key academic programs along with the introduction of new programs.  Development of these programs will be focused on areas that meet specific needs in our workforce – a win for the college and a win for the community.

Another major component of our plan is to ensure that we are meaningfully engaged in communities throughout our five-county service area.  While we have developed strong connections in Bradley County we recognize that we have room for improvement in other areas.

As part of this effort we intend to strengthen the presence of our off-campus sites.  Our plan calls for making the Athens Center a “northern-hub” for Cleveland State.  This means we will anchor key programs at that location.  As an example, we have already begun implementation of a robust Agriculture program there including the introduction of Agribusiness courses.  Additionally, we will see an increase in the number of full-time faculty assigned to the Athens Center.  Overall, we want to provide students living in the norther sections of our service area ample opportunities to complete degree programs in Athens without needing to come to the Cleveland campus.  These changes will bring enrollment growth to the Athens Center.  As we are currently renting a facility that is essentially full, we are looking for opportunities in Athens to develop an actual campus for Cleveland State.

A significant achievement in the first year of our plan is the acquisition of our new Monroe County Center located in the Tellico West Industrial Park in Vonore, Tennessee.  This beautiful facility will be dedicated to providing industrial training through credit and non-credit courses in partnership with the many manufacturing companies and local schools in that area.

While our strategic plan includes nine primary goals with associated objectives none perhaps is more important than the care of our Cleveland Campus.  With most building approaching 50 years old we have a great need for renovation of facilities and replacement of most infrastructure systems on the campus.  It is also significant that we have not had a new classroom building constructed on our campus in over 40 years.  This year we have completed our Master Plan that will guide the future development of our campus.  Planning is already underway with the state to start addressing these needs.  However, to adequately address our physical needs we are implementing Cleveland State’s first major capital campaign.  To leverage state funds we must provide a portion of the overall costs through private funding.  So, we will be asking our community for help through this campaign.

Cleveland State 2020 Community First Plan